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Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) delivers the speech ahead of the signing ceremony of BRICS Business Council at 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province, China September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool(reuters_tickers)
By Michael Martina
XIAMEN, China (Reuters) - The leaders of the five emerging market BRICS powers have for the first time named militant groups based in Pakistan as a regional security concern and called for their patrons to be held to account.
India welcomed the move -- which came at a summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen -- as an important step forward in the fight against militant attacks, of which it has been a target.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make up the BRICS grouping. China has generally been supportive of its ally Pakistan in the past.
The group called for an immediate end to violence in Afghanistan.
"We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, (Islamic State)..., Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir," the leaders said in the declaration.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is a militant group based in Pakistan which India blames for cross-border attacks including the 2008 assault in its financial capital Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.
Jaish-e-Mohammad, another anti-India group based in Pakistan, was blamed for a 2001 attack on parliament.
India has long demanded that Pakistan take action against these groups. Islamabad denies any involvement in attacks in India including in the disputed region of Kashmir and said it is itself a victim of attacks.
Indian foreign ministry official Preeti Saran told reporters on the sidelines of the summit that wording in the communiqué was a "very important development" and that there was recognition that the world cannot have double standards when dealing with militant attacks.
"You cannot have good and bad terrorists, and it is a collective action. Members of the BRICS countries have themselves been victims of terrorism, and I would say that what has come of today acknowledges the fact that we must work collectively in handling this."
China is a close ally of Pakistan and has in the past sprung to its defence, especially when India tried to isolate its arch rival in international fora.
India's local media said naming the Pakistan-based groups in the BRICs resolution was an important win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration which at last year's summit called Pakistan the mother ship of terrorism.
There was no immediate comment from Pakistan on the BRICs resolution.
China, though, has repeatedly blocked India's attempt to get the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad added to a U.N. blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda.
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)